“How many times do I have to explain this to you?” Woodruff asked.

“Just one more time, I swear,” Bob said.  “I’ll get it this time.”

“A jackal is more of a scavenger, and a hyena is more of a predator.”

“Yeah, but which one is funnier?”


“There are laughing hyenas, are there joking jackals?”

“Are you serious?”

“I just want to know which one I’d rather be stuck on the African plains with, that’s all.”

Woodruff grimaced and folded his arms.  Bob turned his attention back to his magazine and thumbed through pictures of wildlife.  A low hum from the copy machine, behind the receptionist, filled the silence in the tiny front lobby.  Woodruff drummed his fingers thoughtfully on the cardboard box in his lap.

“Say you were on a desert island and you could only pick one animal to be with you,” Bob said.  “What animal would you pick?”

“I don’t know, a dog I guess,” Woodruff said.

“Why a dog?”

“Because dogs are loyal and could keep me company.”

“But then you’d have to feed yourself and the dog,” Bob argued.  “Dogs are notoriously lazy when it comes to feeding themselves.  A cat would be a better choice because they’re more self-sufficient.”

“Fine,” Woodruff conceded.  “A cat then.  And we could share a bird or a mouse for dinner.”

“Uh uh,” Bob shook his head.  “Cats are notoriously stingy.  Kitty doesn’t share.  You’ll have to find your own food.”

“Okay, no cat then,” Woodruff said.  “Uh, I’ll pick a cow.  That way I can get milk and eat it if I have to.”

“You’d pick an edible companion for the island?”

“Yeah, what would you pick?”

“I’d pick a dolphin so he could swim me off the island.”

Woodruff opened his mouth to speak but words failed him.

“Mr. Chucklesworth will see you now,” the dark haired receptionist spoke up from behind the desk.

“Mr. Chucklesworth?” Bob asked with a childish smirk.

“Thank you,” Woodruff replied to the receptionist, ignoring Bob.  He collected his box and walked over to the large glass door.  Bob took hold of the handle and pulled it open.

On the other side of the hall, behind a glass wall, was a distinguished looking gentleman, in a white suit. He was sitting at one end of a long boardroom table.  Woodruff and Bob stepped into the boardroom as the silver-haired man in the white suit stood up to greet them.

“Pleased to meet you, sir,” Woodruff said, as he put down the box and shook his hand.  “Thank you for seeing us.”

“Chucklesworth, I presume,” Bob said with a grin.  “Will Ms. Gigglesgood be joining us, or perhaps Sir Chortlemerit?”

“Um, I’m not sure I know who they are,” Mr. Chucklesworth said with a crinkled up forehead.

“Ignore him,” Woodruff said as he shot Bob a scowl.

Bob grinned back at Woodruff and bounced his eyebrows up and down.

“Please, have a seat,” Mr. Chucklesworth said.  “I understand you have a revolutionary idea to share with me.”

“Oh it’s more than an idea, Mr. Chucklesworth,” Woodruff said.  “What’s the biggest fear for modern man?”

“Losing the remote in the couch cushions,” Bob interjected.  “A rogue swan at your dinner party.  Accidentally buying soy milk.  A puppy with the hiccups!”

“Close,” Woodruff said with a point.  “But no.  The worst fear of the modern man is getting a stain on your dress shirt and/or tie.”

“Really?” Mr. Chucklesworth said.

“Imagine you are between meetings and run across the street to get a sandwich from the deli,” Woodruff continued.  “I mean, you’re not going to not get deli mustard.  But what about the danger to your white shirt?  Is it worth the risk?  With our product you never have to eat a mustardless sandwich again.”

Woodruff pulled a blue sheet of shiny plastic looking material out of the box and held it out in front of Mr. Chucklesworth.

“Ta da!” Bob said.  Woodruff swung the narrow end of the tapered sheet around his neck and began to weave it around itself.  “Let’s say you are late for church but haven’t eaten breakfast yet.  Do you go hungry, or risk the dreaded grape jelly stain from your Monte Cristo?  With this bad boy you won’t even give that a second thought.”

Bob patted the shiny blue tie hanging from Woodruff’s neck.

“It’s part bib, part tie,” Woodruff said.

“For the busy clergyman or the bustling career man,” Bob added and poured a bottle of syrup down the front of Woodruff’s shiny covering.  Woodruff pulled a damp rag out of the box without breaking eye contact with Mr. Chucklesworth and wiped the syrup off the bib tie.

“This patented material wipes clean with warm water,” Woodruff said.

“It’s wrinkle free and machine washable,” Bob added as he made a grand sweeping gesture from top to bottom.

“Let’s say you have a business dinner at a BBQ joint,” Woodruff said.

“Or want to enjoy a nice Sunday lobster with your parishioners, but are petrified by Sister Mary Catherine’s nefarious drawn butter,” Bob said, as he pulled a tiny cord dangling from the back of Woodruff’s shirt collar.  The sides of the blue shiny bib tie flared out to twice its original width and covered Woodruff’s entire torso.  “Voila!”

“We’ve got you covered,” Woodruff said as he dumped butter and BBQ sauce on his bib tie while Bob smeared it around.  Then Woodruff removed a pitcher of water from the box and poured it down his front, washing the sauce and butter onto the floor.

“Hey!” Mr. Chucklesworth objected.  “Look what you did.”

“I know, impressive,” Bob said.

“We call it ShameWow,” Woodruff said.

“Or Bob Bibs,” Bob said with a jazz hands.

“No,” Woodruff said.  “We agreed on ShameWow.”

“Fine,” Bob moped.

“That’s awfully close to Shamwow,” Mr. Chucklesworth said.

“Never heard of it,” Bob replied.

“Our product transforms a shame into a wow!” Woodruff continued as Bob flung a handful of noodles and sauce at Woodruff’s chest.  “Spaghetti?”

“We’ve got you covered.”


“We’ve got you covered.”


“We’ve got you covered.”

“Meat balls.”

“We’ve got you covered.”

“Powdered doughnuts.”

“We’ve got you covered.”

“Ice cream on a hot summer day.”

“We’ve. Got. You. Cover.” Bob said as he hit the bib with a scoop of ice cream with each word.  “And if you act now we’ll throw in these ShameMitts absolutely free.”

Woodruff pulled out a long pair of clear plastic gloves from the box and slipped them on.  Mr. Chucklesworth looked at the floor of the conference room with wide-eyed horror as Woodruff and Bob stood side by side with their arms raised triumphantly over their heads.

“You destroyed my office!” Mr. Chucklesworth shouted.

“But his shirt is still good as new,” Bob said as he lifted up the adult bib.

“How many can we put you down for?” Woodruff asked.

“Get out!” a red-faced Mr. Chucklesworth yelled.

Woodruff and Bob gathered their promotional tools and slipped and slid back into the reception area.

“That was disappointing,” Woodruff said.

“Yeah, he didn’t chuckle at all,” Bob replied.

“Maybe he’s having a bad day.”

“Like the other boss men who threw us out today.”

“And one boss woman.”

“She was so mad.”

“Maybe we should rethink out sales pitch.”

“We just need to find the right fit.”

“I really thought we’d close that sale.”

“I know,” Bob moped.  “Shame.”

“Wow,” Woodruff sighed.

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The Land of Look Behind and The Unsaid are published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

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